February 2014 was an unexpectedly busy month with half again the amount of activity seen in January. There was only a little new info about the forthcoming feature film, but the first big hobby show of the year set off a nice rush of products and moved everything one step forward on the big board. Here’s the record of everything that went on this month.
February 1: Hyper Hobby #186
After a couple months in which the standard first-of-the-month publishing date was pushed back slightly, Hyper Hobby returned to its previous schedule with this issue. Yamato 2199 product news got its customary 2-page spread with model kits taking the lead: the giant Domelus III scheduled for July and the first two Mecha Collection mini-kits coming in April. Below that were the latest Yamato Girls figures from Megahouse.
The second page was devoted to the “Best Lottery” product line (see more below) and part 2 of “26 Secrets and Mysteries of Yamato.” This irregular feature puts Chief Mechanical Director Masanori Nishii in the hot seat to answer insider questions. This set started in Hyper Hobby #185 (see Report 27) and continued here:
We asked Chief Mechanical Director Masanori Nishii questions about points of interest in chapters 5, 6, and 7!
Question 8: In the trial scene of Domel, Hisu had a different costume. Was he dressed for the trial?
Nishii: This conforms with the original series. Since Hisu wore such clothes in Domel’s court martial trial, we followed that. Hisu acted as the presiding judge in that spot.
Question 9: Why was there an unmanned system satellite?
Nishii: There are a lot of system satellites to control the gate of Balun. It was one of numerous satellites that was eliminated after it was no longer needed.
Question 10: Was Planet Balun also inherited from the Akerius civilization?
Nishii: Actually, there were the remains of a gate system from the Akerius civilization. They’re located in the middle of the Milky Way and the Magellanic Galaxy, and Garmillas built a major base with an energy plant to control the gate. It was created by converting the ruins, so it became an artificial planet of Garmillas.
Question 11: Why was the Goeru fleet at Beemela painted with camouflage? Is there a purpose for camouflage in space? And what happened to the core?
Nishii: There were camouflaged Gamilas ships in the planning book of the original series. It was left out because it was too difficult to paint such complex color-coding by hand. It could be done this time thanks to CG, and doesn’t it look overwhelmingly evil? Even good people who ride on it end up looking evil. (Laughs) There’s actually no purpose to camouflage in space. (Laughs) Maybe it was a previous strategy, and such camouflage might have been effective when engaged in a battle on a planet.
Question 12: What’s the relationship between the Haizerad class and the Gaiderol class ship?
Nishii: The Gaiderol-class battleship, which is also called the Shulz battleship, wouldn’t be a good return on investment if it was only one of a kind, so we talked about it and decided to make a variant. It’s the same kind of ship, but when Mr. Izubuchi asked Yasushi Ishizu to make it look like another ship the bow, bridge, and stern were remodeled into the Haizerad class. The concept is that it’s the successor to the Gaiderol-class. The Haizerad is a new style of ship.
Question 13: Dessler hid himself in Dimensional Submarine UX-01 to watch the conspiracy of Zoellick. Where was it during the naval review? And wouldn’t Dessler have hated the vulgarity of Gol Hainy?
Nishii: Because the Dimensional Dive Ship returned to planet Garmillas after that, I guess it would have been closer to Garmillas than somewhere around Planet Balun. As for Hainy, I think Frakken would have strictly ordered him to “stay away.” (Laughs) Because of the narrowness of the 144-meter Dimensional Submarine, Frakken would pay close attention to that sort of thing.
Question 14: On Yamato‘s gravity anchor, what does the bolt usually hold down?
Nishii: That’s the persuasive power of a visual. (Laughs) With the expression of something that gets released, it’s easier to understand what you see, but above all it’s cool. (Laughs) The analog quality of a bolt has visual appeal and a good feeling.
The questions continued in Hyper Hobby #187. See them in the next report.
February 1: Sapporo campaign prizes
The Sapporo beverage company made good on its Yamato 2199 campaign (first announced in September) by shipping prizes to winners in the beginning of February. These consisted of a commemorative phone card from the Quo company and a stereo speaker with a miniature Yamato that does not seem derived from any previous product. (Taito made a very similar speaker in 2010, but this is a fresh sculpt.) It may become commercially available in the future.
February 1: Smart Phone App
Bandai Namco released Yamato 2199 Concierge via Japan’s Docomo network for Android phones, a Yamato-themed OS to decorate your screens and help you navigate. (They already offer many anime-themed systems based on One Piece, Macross, Gundam, Dragonball, etc.) It’s unlikely that the app is available outside Japan, but stranger things have happened.
See the download site here.
February 2: Nico Nico webcast #33
This was the only webcast for February; since the end of the weekly 2199 TV broadcast last September, frequency has dropped significantly with breaks of 2-4 weeks between shows. There is still Yamato news (basically matching what you find in these reports), but the rest of the time is spent on yakking and goof-offery.
This time the hosts were (left to right) Momoko Miyauchi as Makoto Harada, Sayako Toujo as Yuria Misaki, and Shiori Kawana as Yuki Mori (sporting a new wig this time). All three opened with hand-written cards showing their basic stats.
For the first time, we also learned their ages; Sayako is 22, Momoko is 19, and Shiori is 29. Their birthdays are July 2, February 9, and March 10 respectively. And if you’re in need of a transfusion, Sayako and Shiori are both blood type A. (For real.) Naturally, there was nothing to be said about the new feature film, but there was some prodding from the girls in the form of a sign indicating “Toujo wants to know what’s going on.”
In the “drawing corner” segment, the assignment was to picture world-famous surgeon Dr. Sado at work in an operating theater. The results were predictably vivid; Sayako went full-on blood splatter (above left) while Shiori took the patient down to the bone.
Momoko went over the edge with visible ganglia and Dr. Sado enjoying his sake over a very dead-looking cadaver. The others were creeped out despite the cute little Nurse Harada in the corner, and pleaded with Momoko to stop holding it up to the camera. She did. Eventually.
For the pinup posing session, Shiori coaxed the others on how to “eat pretty” for the camera.
Finally, the pro had to step in and show how it’s done. Momoko closed out the show with another performance of her Gatlantis disco dance, and the world took up vigil for the next webcast. (On March 9.)
February 4: Website banners
As shown at the end of Report 28, a new banner design graced both the official 2199 website and the Yamato Crew website featuring the first key art for the 2014 feature film and a reminder that it was on the way. The next tidbit floated in at the end of the month, so keep reading.
February 9: Winter 2014 Wonder Festival
Wonder Fest is the first big hobby show of the year in Tokyo, and whereas Bandai usually leads the charge for new Yamato products, the spotlight this time belonged to Megahouse and its ever-growing line of figures and miniatures. This included the first figure in the “Yamato Guys Collection” and news of products to come.
Also on offer was a garage kit statue of Dimensional Submarine commander Wolf Frakken by modelmaker RC Berg (previously seen in the December 2013 Dengeki Hobby magazine) and a striking set of figure busts from Megatech Body.
Click here to get a better look at everything from Wonder Fest 2014.
February 9: Cosmofleet Special Yamato miniature
One of the new Megahouse products released on the very day of Wonder Fest was this exquisite 6.5″ Yamato, the first in a new “Cosmofleet Special” line. (Previous Cosmofleet miniatures were about half this size.)
The second ship in the Cosmofleet Special line was revealed at Wonder Fest, a Domelus III made at the same length (i.e. not to scale). A release date has not yet been announced.
February 9: 1/8 Yuki Mori figure, original color B version
Yamato Crew released the A version last month (a white and red uniform) and followed up this month with a white and black variant that, intentionally or otherwise, matches her colors in Final Yamato. Other than this, the sculpt and parts are identical to Megahouse’s first Yuki figure.
February 9: 1/8 Captain Okita figure
Megahouse announced its “Yamato Guys Collection” in October 2013, and here is the first result – the captain himself. Like the girls, he comes with option parts. In this case, a variant right arm and a left hand gripping a “Yamato Plan” document. Also included is an Okita family photo.
The second “Yamato Guy” figure has yet to be announced.
February 13: Best Lottery prizes
As described in the last report, this special prize campaign is run by Banpresto, a toy branch of Bandai, with tickets purchased at convenience stores in Japan. Other anime spinoff products have been offered in past lotteries, and this was the first time for Space Battleship Yamato. Three weeks after the ticket-buying began, the wide variety of finished products started to appear in custom packaging that tied in with the campaign. It’s possible that some will be offered for commercial sale in the future.
Get a good look at the whole lineup here.
February 14: Clear bookmarks
Anime World Star is a specialty shop that makes its own custom products for different anime programs, with a focus on Yamato and Leiji Matsumoto works. Case in point, these translucent plastic bookmarks, numbers 37-42 in a series. (Which, going by the images, now appears to be completed.) A single sheet measures about 6″ x 8″.
February 14: 1/8 Yuki Mori figure, “warp color” version
Yet another variant of Megahouse’s Yuki figure, this one had the fastest turnaround from promotion to marketplace, appearing less than a week after being announced at Wonder Fest.
The gimmick this time was to cast Yuki in clear plastic with a color treatment that imagines what she’d look like in mid-warp. The same trick was previously applied to a Yamato Cosmofleet miniature, also from Megahouse (above right).
February 15: Soul of Chogokin Yamato, US release
This beauty officially kicked off a new wave of Star Blazers 2199 products for North America, which includes Bandai model kits and subtitled DVDs/Blu-rays. It’s identical in every way to its Japanese counterpart (released in January 2014) except for “Star Blazers 2199” stickers covering the Japanese logo. That, and the much more significant feature of being available directly from Amazon.com.
Revisit Report 28 for a glowing description of the Japanese version.
See the instruction manual here, courtesy of friend-of-the-website Lloyd Coricelli.
February 16: Space Kinds X Yamato Lecture event
The Yamato Lectures were covered in previous reports, a series of on-stage conversations between fans that compared and contrasted the views of different generations. This was the 7th lecture event, but its focus was quite different, as explained in this article, translated from the pop-culture media website Otapol.
Thorough enjoyment of the Space Battleship Yamato sound!
“Space Kinds X Yamato Lecture” report!
On February 16, an event titled “Space Kinds X Yamato Lecture ~ Yamato 2199 soundtrack” was held at Live House Buddy in Tokyo. “Space Kinds Live” is centered on members of the male chorus group The Kinds, which backs Ichiro Mizuki, king of anison [anime theme songs].
Space Kinds’ specialty is dynamic live performances of revered songs and BGM from vintage anime and tokusatsu programs, and as you can see from the title, this event featured the legendary Space Battleship Yamato and Yamato 2199!
This collaborative fan-sponsored “talk event” was organized by MC Osamu Kobayashi, former editor-in-chief of the legendary subculture magazine Monthly OUT, who is now an active anime writer and Yamato Lecture chairman! Tickets to this historical event, which accomplished a “great unification,” sold out in just two days.
Though a heavy snow hit Kanto the day before, a crowd of nearly 200 gathered at the live house. Let’s report on this blistering event. Off we go!
Composition and conversation that
attacked key points for the fans!
The “Yamato Lecture” series ran from 2012 to 2013, a fan event with the goal of enjoying the anime Yamato 2199 with a wide range of fan generations as it developed. This time, Mr. Kobayashi and music/video writer Ryozo Fuwa took the stage as moderator and guest. The event proceeded, sprinkled with music commentary from these two deep devotees.
A feeling of tension drifted through the venue like that just before a Yamato launch, then a tight bass and strong snare attack forced the mood upward with Yamato Launch. The performance opened with a beautiful scat by Kayoko Moriyama of the chorus group Apple Pie for The Universe Spreading into Infinity. With the feelings of Yamato‘s crew before launch and this majestic music invoking a grand vista of outer space, the live house was instantly immersed into the world of Space Battleship Yamato.
Incidentally, Space Kinds has the so-called typical rock band configuration of guitar, bass, drum and keyboards, but also adds a brass section to become a “combo band.” Band master Watari Sasuga says, “This formation can create a sound comparable to an orchestra, closer to the taste of the original music.” And in addition to this self-assurance, the set list that day was rich!
Yamato navigation and combat. Aircraft dogfights. Music was used in each scene, including peaceful daily life. Iscandar-related music. Garmillas Empire-related music. It’s all “wholly nostalgic,” such as the music heard during the return to Earth when you feel the deep emotion of Captain Okita. The suite configuration, not to mention the performance, allows you to feel the narrative of the story. In addition, The Galactic Route and the Garmillas national anthem Praise My Light Forever allowed the audience to join in and sing the chorus, which made everyone smile in surprise and brought the sense of unity you can only feel in a fan event.
Band master Watari Sasuga
In that interval, Mr. Fuwa discussed “the statistical results of the utilization ratio of the music composed by the late Hiroshi Miyagawa for the first Yamato, compared to the new music handled by his son Akira in Yamato 2199,” as well as how forward-looking the soundtrack of the first Yamato was in incorporating cutting-edge music at the time, like easy listening and progressive. It was the sort of thing you’d only hear here.
As the appeal of Space Battleship Yamato was examined in both music and conversation, there was an groundswell in the venue from beginning to end.
The encore resounded with the 3rd and 4th phantom verses
of Space Battleship Yamato!
The main part of the performance swelled with BGM heard in the story, and the vocal music everyone wanted to hear followed in the encore with the beautiful voices of Space Kinds’ three vocalists.
First, Ryozo Fuwa waded into Yamato‘s ending theme The Scarlet Scarf, then sang From Yamato With Love, the end theme from Farewell to Yamato, with great emotion and respect for the original vocalist.
Vocalist Hiroshi Tsunemi of The Kinds
Hiroshi Tsunemi received the baton and took charge of Love Until That Day, from the feature film Be Forever Yamato. Although this was the only song for which he sang the main vocal that day, the passion he applied to it was exceptional. It couldn’t only have been this writer whose heart was touched by the emotional singing voice.
Next, the image song from Farewell titled The Rival was loaded with Susumu Kodai’s thoughts of his eternal rival Dessler. Hiroshi Tsunemi, another member of The Kinds, sang the theme song from The New Voyage titled Yamato!! The New Voyage. His sharp voice was an exquisite match for this heroic piece.
Together, these three voices captured the “man’s romance” of Yamato, and got big applause from the crowd.
Of course, it was the Space Battleship Yamato theme song that graced the live finale. Moreover, it was the “full version” with its third and fourth “phantom verses” (is it OK to call them that?) and the audience provided a live rousing chorus of “Uchu Senkan Ya-ma-to!”
Because of the fans’ love and knowledge of the work, Space Kinds X Yamato Lecture became a love-filled event. The success of the performance became clear at a glance from the cheers after the encore and the peaceful atmosphere that followed. It’s not only the anime industry but also the fans who support the work with full force, and I couldn’t have been the only one who felt the atmosphere of the 70s and 80s generation that livened up the anime industry.
Text by Toshi Arita, City Connection
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.
February 19: Osaka Concert performance
In other Yamato music news, The Osaka City Orchestra performed its 107th annual concert, a program titled Evolving City Sound! To the Future. Conducted by Akira Miyagawa and others, it featured international music ranging from classical to futuristic. Yamato score took its rightful place among famed ballet and operatic compositions, and dominated the program with multiple tracks in the following movements:
1. Prologue: Overture, The universe spreading into infinity
2. Distant Journey: Yamato theme, Yamato launches from Earth, Cosmo Tiger
3. Garmillas Empire: Praise my light forever (Garmillas national anthem), Gathering the fleet
4. Battle: Sortie, Yamato maelstrom
5. Peace: Iscandar, Great love
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